10 Essential Decorating Tips for Your Hallway

Most people think of the hallway as nothing but the transition from one part of your house to another, or as the simple space connecting all the other rooms. We can help you take your hallway from drab to fab, using just a few simple changes in colour, style, and material. 

You should consider what kind of area rug you want to use, what furniture additions you can use to make the most use of your space, and how to keep your hallway safe to navigate. You’ll transform an otherwise mundane space into something memorable and functional.

Create a Dropoff Point

a wooden shelf unit in a designed space

After a long day at work, isn't it nice to kick off your shoes and relax? Well, it's cute until shoes, boots, and socks get scattered throughout the hallway, making a mess that people have to navigate. 

However, if you build or install a narrow open-faced wall shelf, it makes a convenient shoe rack that can also store other things like coats. Use suction hooks on the wall to hang coats and hats. You can rearrange suction hooks without damaging the wall.

2. Emphasise the Floor with a Hall Runner

a large floor rug in a designed space
This narrow corridor can be where you express your artistic flair. The hallway doesn't take up much room so that you can get creative with the colour scheme. Use a hall runner that has bright, bold hues or geometric patterns.

Choose a durable fabric for your hall runner because it has to withstand the most impact from shoes.

3. Paint the Walls

Colour should also adorn the walls. Use light, pastel hues to project an open feeling and offset the narrowness of the hallway space. Keep the tone similar to adjacent walls, if there isn't any border. Otherwise feel free to paint however you like.

You can use a different paint tone for one of the walls to create an accent and emphasize artwork or other decor.

4. Use Multiple Colours

a designed room with contrasting wall colours

A darker band of paint along the baseboard gives you built-in camouflage for shoe marks, paint scrapes, and other damage. It can also draw a brighter contrast to the primary colour of the wall, which should be a soft hue. Avoid strong hues because hallways are naturally dark and vibrant colours don't show up as well.

Lighter hues, on the other hand, show damage more easily. This is why we advise a dark base stripe.

5. Create a Miniature Art Gallery

artwork is a designed hallway
Use one of those bare walls to show off treasured family photos. If you have other artwork like paintings you've collected from travel, intermingle them with family photos.

Wall art at the end of a hallway, unless there is a door, can create some interesting visual effects. Make this art your centrepiece and have the rest of the hallway decor lead to it.

Put small pictures in between large ones to use space effectively.

6. Wallpaper Adds Interest

contrasting wallpaper in a designed room

Themed or patterned wallpaper makes an attractive substitute for paint. Try using floral print to give your hall an open-air look and feel. Coupled with the right overhead lighting the effect is striking.

One example of patterned wallpaper is floral-patterned wallpaper. Using natural patterns like this can make your hall almost look like a garden.

Wallpaper is easier and cleaner to apply, but you don't have as much control over the pattern. If you want to channel your inner Picasso, painting your hall might be just the thing for you.

7. Change Your Lighting

a wall sconce in a designed space

The right lighting can put a different ambiance in your hallway. Single bulbs overhead have their place, but have you considered wall sconces?

A wall sconce is a small mount meant to hold a freestanding electric light or a candle. Since you're likely not in a medieval castle, we’ll assume you have electric candles.

Place the sconces evenly along the walls. Put them high enough, so they don't get knocked over. A metre and a half to two metres off the ground is an ideal height. Placed higher, they can highlight the ceiling. If you have hanging ceiling decor, then use this to your advantage.

8. Add Furniture

designer furniture place in a hallway

Even something as small as an end table can make the entire space look lived-in. Choose a narrow table that you can be sure won't block foot traffic and place it about midway down the hall to promote visual balance. This table can be useful: put a small bowl of fruit or healthy snacks as a quick grab-and-go energy boost as one example.

In bad weather, you might place a box of tissues or cough drops. Just make the space used in some way.

9. Treat Your Hallway Like a Room

It is a room, just a long, thin one. Use some of the same principles of design that you would in a normal room. Do everything you can to make your decor elements complement one another. The focal point is likely to be the end of the corridor. Place smaller elements on either side to create a sense of balance.

10. Use Colour Accents

colourful furniture in a designed space

A monochrome look can be overwhelming. Complementary colours go well together when one features in an accent piece against the main backdrop. If your hallway's main hue is pastel green, the accent piece such as furniture might be a dark red.

You can also use split complementary colours. These consist of a main colour and two that are adjacent to the complementary colour. For example, if you had blue, the single complementary colour would be orange. Split complementary to blue are orange-yellow and orange-red.

Avoid using designs and colour patterns that are too similar because it can create a dissonant look that the human eye does not like.

Liven up space by setting out a potted plant. If your hallway has a window, place the plant as close to the window as you can. Otherwise, keep it under a light so it can feed. Take care of it regularly; a dead plant isn't attractive.

A bland hallway doesn't have to remain bland. By using colour judiciously, adding patterned themes where you can, and emphasising a single element, you can make your hallway pop and stand out to visitors.

Ready to reinvigorate your hallway? Check out our selection of home decor to help you define the space and add interest today.